Thinking of buying a new mattress? Wondering what kind of mattresses are available and what to know before you start shopping?

We’ve gathered together a few facts and ideas to help you take on the task. Read, consider, shop.

We know: How to buy a Mattress

How many kinds of mattresses are there?

The most common type of mattress is made with inner or coiled springs between layers of padding. You will also find mattress filled with water, foam, air, cotton fibers and a combinations of these materials.

What mattress sizes will I find?

Here are the common mattress sizes:

Twin39 x 75 inches
Twin long39 x 80 inches
Double or Full54 x 75 inches
Queen60 x 80 inches
King76 x 80 inches
California King72 x 84 inches

What should I know about mattress brands?

There are about 40 brands of mattresses. The three biggies in the industry are Serta, Sealy and Simmons. The truth is, the same manufacturers make lots of different mattress lines that are sold at different retailers. So, two mattresses that are essentially the same but differ in color, can be sold under different names and at radically different prices. This makes it tough to compare mattresses and prices.

How should I shop?

Try out the mattress. Ask if you can take it home for a 30 day trial period.

Find the mattress and the price you want, then wait for a sale. This is a highly competitive industry and it pays to be patient and keep your eyes open.

Bargain. It never hurts to ask, especially if the retailer thinks he may lose a sale. Buy the box spring along with the mattress. See if they’ll throw it in or lower the price. (The mattress and box spring are meant to be used together and not using the correct box spring may void a warranty.)

If you buy over the phone or online, you may get a very good deal. But find out first what happens if you don’t like the mattress you get.

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